Introduction to Baccarat

Baccarat is one of the most exciting games at land-based casinos and is considered a game popular among regular players as well as high rollers. The game has been immortalized through association with the legendary fictional superspy James Bond or 007. With the arrival of the online casino baccarat has spread its wings even further and is now accessible to millions of people from across the world.

The game is simple, though it may initially appear complicated, and is great fun to play. The game is played between the player and the banker and the objective is to build a hand closest to 9. You can bet on the player, the banker, or a tie.

This article recommends the best Baccarat casinos and bonuses, and introduces the rules of the game.

Top Baccarat Casinos and Bonuses

Below is a list of the best Baccarat casino for UK players. Note that not all online casinos allow baccarat to be played with their bonuses. We indicate the percentage of baccarat wagers that count towards the play through requirements of each bonus. 0% means you can still play baccarat at this casino, but not with the bonus.

All Bonuses: New Customers Only, Gamble Responsibly -

32Red Casino

£10 No Deposit

Ladbrokes Casino

Up to £1500 over 3 deposits

Mansion Casino

100% up to £500

888 Casino

100% up to £100

Betfred Casino

Up to £200 over 3 deposits

Casino Plex

Up to £1000 over 2 deposits

Golden Lounge Casino

Up to £200 over 3 deposits

Leo Vegas Casino

Up to £1450 over 4 deposits

Luxury Casino

Up to £1000 over 5 deposits

Nedplay Casino

100% up to £100

Brief History

Baccarat is considered one of the older casino games to be still in existence. While there are indications that it existed in France as far back as the 1490s, some say it has been around from even earlier. The name itself is French for the Italian-origin word 'baccara', which means zero, the value assigned to the 10-value cards. Here are some theories attributed to its origin:

  • Created by Felix Falguierein, an Italian gambler, from some time in the Middle Ages.
  • Existed as part of an ancient Etruscan ritual to the nine Gods, where a nine-faced dice was rolled by a virgin.
  • King Charles VIII of France brought the game to France during the Franco-Italian war, giving legitimacy to the French and Italian connections.

The game was originally played by French nobility and later spread to other classes under the name of Chemin de Fer. It took wing from France to the rest of Europe, where it was rechristened European baccarat. From Europe it went to South America and then North America in the early 1910s. It was not very popular until the 1950s in the USA. The game became popular in the USA by the late 1950s. Today thanks to the online casino industry it is a popular game worldwide.

There are variants of the game to choose from. The American variant is called Punto Banco, while European baccarat is called Baccarat en Banque. In France and Spain it is still called Chemin de Fer. There are newer variants as well, including mini baccarat.

Basic Baccarat Rules - How to Play Baccarat

This is how you play the game of baccarat:

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Some Baccarat Tips

Baccarat is easy to play and simple to score wins. Here are a few tips to help you along when you play baccarat at your favourite online casino.

  • Play with lesser card decks: The lesser the card decks the higher the chances of beating the banker's hand.
  • Bet wisely: The house edge is the same for the banker and the player, at 1:1.The banker's hand has a higher probability of winning so learn to bet smart: you may score more wins betting on the banker than on the player.
  • Bet judiciously on the tie: The tie is a rare occurrence and should not be bet on frequently. The returns are high, but in looking for the high return you may lose a lot of money, since this bet has a high house edge of almost 15%.
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Baccarat FAQs

Here are a few commonly asked questions about baccarat.

How many decks of cards are used in a game of baccarat?

Baccarat is a card game that uses multiple decks of cards. There are games with 8 decks and also with 6 decks. The number of decks is another factor, along with the house edge and the bets you place, impacting the odds of your winning. The lower the number of decks the better the chances of winning.

Do you need a degree of skill to play and win at baccarat?

Baccarat is a game of chance in that the player does not have a say in the outcome of the card deal. It is purely random. The player may use some strategy to minimise his chances of losing. Therefore, you do not need too much skill to play this game. Of course, you have to know where to place your bet- on the player, the banker or the tie. You also need to know how much an optimum bet should be for a hand.

Does the casino charge any money on the banker bet?

The casino may usually charge a commission of 5% on winning the banker bet. This is because the banker is likely to win 3 to 4 times more than the player over a period of time and has a lower house edge.

What are the odds of winning a bet on a tie in baccarat?

The tie is a rarity in baccarat, with the house edge going as high as 15:1. The probability of a tie is about 9.5%. So even though the payout is high for this tie at 8:1 or even 9:1, the odds of a tie happening are rare. The likelihood of scoring a win by betting on the player is approximately 44.6%, while the possibility of the banker losing is approximately 45.8%. In the long term, you would be better off betting on the banker or the player.

What is a 'natural' in baccarat?

The 'natural' is a hand with a value of 8 or 9. It could be dealt either to the player or the banker. Once a player or banker is dealt a natural hand, no further cards are dealt to him.